25 Best Value Online Occupational Health and Safety Masters [2024 Guide]

Highest Paying Safety Certifications

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Occupational safety professionals protect workplaces and the general public against physical, chemical, and biological hazards. Without proper training and knowledge, students aiming for this career won’t be qualified to implement safety protocols. These colleges with occupational health and safety degrees will prepare you for the profession’s risky challenges.

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Top Safety Degree Online Programs for Careers as Certified Safety Professionals

The online safety degree programs offered by Georgia Institute of Technology, Columbia Southern University, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University stand out for their commitment to workplace safety and the practical application of control strategies. These accredited institutions provide comprehensive curricula, experienced faculty, and robust academic advising.

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These programs will teach you the necessary skills to identify hazards and implement effective solutions to promote a culture of safety in the workplace. Financial aid, academic support, and career services are also available to make it easier to get your degree and secure a good-paying job.

SchoolAverage In-State Tuition FeeAverage Out-of-State Tuition FeeAcceptance Rate
Georgia Institute of Technology$11,764$32,87617%
Columbia Southern University$12,474$19,679100%
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University$26,293$42,30464%
Indiana State University$9,732$21,16092%
Texas A&M University$30,608$32,25362%
University of Alaska$8,376$25,35665%
Johns Hopkins University$64,730$80,8007%
Waldorf University$21,604$38,17673%
Indiana University$12,142$41,89082%
University of South Florida$24,652$27,32044%
West Virginia University$24,928$26,56888%
The City University of New York$7,340$19,01062%
University of Nebraska Medical Center$14,720$33,89035%
University of Houston-Clear Lake$11,560$23,23069%
University of Alabama at Birmingham$27,320$28,90986%
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater$8,938$17,81093%
Murray State University$9,432$14,32884%
East Carolina University$7,325$23,81392%
Tulane University$65,538$83,89011%
Montana Tech of the University of Montana$8,045$23,6789%
Oakland University$14,694$29,11290%
Rochester Institute of Technology$57,016$72,35467%
Eastern Kentucky University$9,844$23,00498%
University of Central Missouri$9,735$22,91871%
University of Findlay$40,186$52,84586%

1. Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology provides one of the best Professional Master’s in Occupational Safety and Health programs in the state. You’ll discover how to use the latest technology and professionally evaluate and investigate any occupational health and safety issues found in the workplace.

The hybrid program makes it easy for you to work full-time while going to school. Graduates with this degree can work for any organization responsible for maintaining safety standards in the workplace.

With the help of an experienced staff and faculty members, students can develop the skills and gain the knowledge they need to have a thriving career in this field. These are some of the courses you’ll be studying: 

  • Economic Analysis, Risk Management, Risk Financing, and Insurance
  • Advanced Safety Principles
  • Industrial Hygiene Principles and Health Hazards
  • Culture Leadership Influences

2. Columbia Southern University

Columbia Southern University

Columbia Southern offers its students one of the best MS in Occupational Safety and Health degree programs in the south. You’ll develop the ability to create positive solutions to hazardous concerns that are often found in the workplace. 

This university offers its online students with the highest-quality academic courses in the area. You’ll understand what safety issues are and how they should be addressed so they don’t turn into accidents that involve damage to property or injury.

The courses are designed for students who want to pursue leadership roles like chief safety officer or employee safety director. The university has put together courses that meet industry standards on every level, including:

  • Advanced Toxicology
  • Fire Protection Technology
  • System Safety Engineering
  • Advanced Ergonomics

3. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University offers students an MS in Occupational Safety Management to further their education. The university teaches students the skills to evaluate work environments and implement positive changes that make it much safer for the employees who work there.

You can choose to learn using the online format and can attend class from any location as long as you have an internet connection. Another great thing about this university is that faculty members are available when students who may be experiencing difficulties with their coursework need help.

The rigorous program can train you to become a certified safety manager or leader in the industry with courses like:

  • Loss Control and Insurance
  • Principles of Accident Investigation
  • Disaster Policy and Management
  • Environmental Compliance and Safety

4. Indiana State University

Indiana State University

Indiana State University is well-known throughout the Ohio Valley for its excellent online academic programs. Its MS Occupational Safety Management degree has been meticulously developed to instill in students the best skills and abilities required for this field. 

Kelsey Ludeman, an education expert with 15 years of experience in the education sector, shares that Indiana State is her top pick when it comes to the best value school for getting your online masters in occupational health and safety:

“Indiana State University is a premier pick due to its modest tuition prices and high acceptance rate. The school also offers the MS program both in-person and online. Although certificate programs are not eligible for financial aid, the school offers several other financial support opportunities.

The Master of Science in Occupational Health and Safety degree program, accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, offers flexibility, research opportunities, industry connections, and expert instructors, designed to launch your career successfully.”

You can learn management skills and how to create safety guidelines that will work within each situation. The ultimate goal is to become a safety manager with the skills to make a difference in whatever work environment you are in.

Faculty members are also carefully chosen to make sure you have the best possible learning experience. With these courses, every graduate completes their education knowing they can perform the duties of their role accurately and efficiently.

  • Safety Inspection, Assessment, and Control 
  • Fire Science and Protection Systems
  • Statistics for Engineering and Technology
  • Safe Transportation and Management of Hazardous Materials

5. Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University is one of the most technologically advanced schools of higher learning in the country. Its Master of Science in Safety Engineering helps you develop the ability to find effective solutions to many safety issues in the workplace.

The university is well-respected both for its academic excellence as well as its award-winning faculty members. Every student has access to the most up-to-date resources available to get the most out of their educational experience. 

As a student of this program, you will learn to use the latest advancements in technology to create safer, more productive work environments. The program’s courses focus on extensive engineering applications while introducing safety principles, procedures, and practices. You will be studying topics such as:

  • Consequence and Impact Analysis
  • Process Safety Engineering
  • Quantitative Risk Analysis in Safety Engineering
  • Reliability Engineering

6. University of Alaska

University of Alaska

The University of Alaska’s Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Safety and Health provides a deep understanding of various safety standards and regulations set by government agencies such as Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This prepares students to navigate the complex legal landscape of occupational safety.

One of the key strengths of this program is its comprehensive curriculum that covers key aspects of safety. This covers hazard identification and risk assessment, as well as developing and implementing effective control strategies. With online classes and fieldwork, students can excel as occupational safety professionals after taking courses like:

  • Safety Program Management and Recordkeeping
  • Occupational Safety Training Needs and Methods
  • Hazard Control: Inspections, Audits and Investigations
  • Workplace Monitoring: Instrumentation and Calibration

7. Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University has a reputation for being one of the most technologically advanced universities. Its Master of Science in Occupational and Environmental Hygiene allows students to take their classes online while continuing their full-time jobs. 

In this program, students are given the skills and resources they need to perform the duties associated with their chosen career paths. Upon graduation, you can potentially switch to high-level roles that focus on creating safer, more hygienic work environments.

The faculty members are some of the most well-respected professors in their fields. The program comes with these courses that provide the most up-to-date information to broaden your employment opportunities as a graduate safety practitioner.

  • Exposure Assessment Techniques for Health Risk Management
  • Occupation Injury Prevention and Safety Policy and Practice
  • Introduction to Risk Sciences and Public Policy
  • Noise and Other Physical Agents in the Environment

8. Waldorf University

Waldorf University

Waldorf University’s BA in Occupational Safety consistently ranks among the best in the nation due to its well-rounded curriculum and commitment to practical, hands-on training. Students gain a deep understanding of the theoretical principles and real-life applications of occupational safety practices.

What sets Waldorf’s program apart is the emphasis on experiential learning opportunities. Through internships, case studies, and interactive projects, you get to apply your knowledge in simulated workplace environments. This better prepares you for the challenges you’ll face as a real-life safety practitioner. 

As a graduate of this program, you’ll be sought after for your ability to make immediate contributions to improve workplace safety and minimize accidents. The program’s online courses cover a comprehensive range of topics, such as:

  • Interactions of Hazardous Materials
  • Fundamentals of Occupational Safety
  • Fleet Safety and Accident Investigation
  • Workers’ Compensation

9. Indiana University

Indiana University

Indiana University is one of the country’s most well-respected schools, especially when it comes to the health sciences. Its Bachelor of Science in Applied Health Science program gives you entry into government agencies, non-profit organizations, and industrial businesses for their training and risk management policies.

The online format allows for a student to be located anywhere and still be able to enroll in this prestigious degree. Faculty members are highly respected professionals in their own right and provide you with guidance and encouragement throughout the program.

You will understand safety protocols and best practices that will allow you to monitor and identify potential occupational hazards within the workplace. With these courses, you will hone your safety management skills and learn how to maintain a safe work environment:

  • Industrial Hygiene Sampling and Analysis
  • Incident Investigation and Analysis
  • Legal Aspects of Safety
  • OSHA Construction Standards 

10. University of South Florida

University of South Florida

The University of South Florida has been providing quality educational programs for many years, offering students who attend online to have everything they need for an exceptional and fruitful educational experience. Its Environmental Health and Safety Training Program teaches you the necessary skills and abilities to maintain a safe environment within various workplace settings.

The curriculum highlights a professional’s social responsibility to develop and implement programs and policies to promote safer work environments. The school’s training center focuses on courses that aim to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses, including: 

  • Biomedical Waste Training
  • Hazardous Waste Awareness and Handling
  • Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Plan
  • Compressed Gas Safety

11. West Virginia University

West Virginia University

West Virginia University has a reputation for being one of the best schools in the area in terms of technology and advanced learning opportunities. Graduates of the online MS in Safety Management can look for a position in their field before they graduate, making it possible to work while they are still learning.

Faculty members offer guidance and give students the benefit of their years of experience so they can gain a new perspective they can use when building their careers. With this graduate degree, you can secure a high-paying job as an occupational safety technician, emergency and risk management director, or environmental specialist.

You’ll learn leadership skills and safety best practices that will allow you to make positive changes in work environments so that safety is a priority and not an option. After completing these courses, you can effectively identify workplace hazards, design safety procedures, investigate incidents, and implement protocol:

  • Controlling Environmental and Personnel Hazards
  • Loss Control and Recovery
  • Instrumentation for Safety Managers
  • Safety Legislation and Compliance

12. The City University of New York

The City University of New York

The City University of New York is well-known throughout New York for its quality educational programs and state-of-the-art technology. With an online MS in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, graduates can utilize a wide variety of resources to create safe and healthy work environments that are free from hazards.

The ability to provide their degree programs in an online format makes it possible for full-time working students to return to school and complete their degree. Faculty members understand how important this is and actively work with students to help them achieve their career goals for the future.

Students are taught how to create a safer, more productive work environment. Whether you aim to work as an inspector, training specialist, or safety officer in consulting firms or governments, you can take advantage of the cutting-edge technologies and analytical techniques you’ll learn from these courses:

  • Hazard Evaluation and Instrumentation
  • Noise and Radiation Hazards and Controls
  • Industrial Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality
  • Environmental and Occupational Toxicology

13. University of Nebraska Medical Center

University of Nebraska Medical Center

The University of Nebraska Medical Center has a reputation for being one of the leading teaching schools for medical practices and environmental and occupational health. By enrolling for the Graduate Certificate in Occupational Safety and Health, you’ll learn the skills and best practices to create protocols and improve occupational and environmental health in the workplace. 

Faculty members are medical professionals who are constantly striving to provide each student with the best advice and encouragement possible. Because of the flexibility of the online format, you can make time for family commitments and continue to work at your regular job while earning your degree.

The program’s main objective is to teach students the physical and psychosocial hazards in occupational environments. Through these courses, you’ll learn how to apply control measures, assess environmental risks, and implement occupational safety standards:

  • Elements of Industrial Safety for Health Sciences
  • Environmental Exposure Assessment
  • Epidemiology in Public Health

14. University of Houston-Clear Lake

University of Houston-Clear Lake

The University of Houston-Clear Lake is a leader in the state of Texas when it comes to occupational safety and health awareness. With its MS in Occupational Safety and Health, graduates can design solutions using any available resources they have at their disposal.

Students are given information on a variety of potential hazards. Once they are aware of what type of hazards may exist in a specific environment, it is easier to come up with a solution to remedy the situation.

Aside from informative and concise courses, faculty members are also consummate professionals who are both knowledgeable and supportive. Students can rely on both to provide them with an exceptional education they can count on to help them establish a career they can be proud of. Here are some topics you’ll be getting acquainted with:

  • Noise and Hearing Conservation
  • Control of Occupational and Environmental Hazards 
  • Radiation Protection 
  • Sampling and Analysis of Environmental Contaminants

15. University of Alabama at Birmingham

University of Alabama at Birmingham

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is well-known for its quality curriculum and in-depth degree programs. Its MPH in Environmental and Occupational Health offers an online and in-class accelerated bachelor’s degree for students aiming to balance their academics and professional lives.

No matter which learning environment they choose, the faculty and professors are dedicated to providing students with the assistance and encouragement they need. The program’s mandatory internship exposes you to real-life environmental and occupational health situations, where you’ll learn to assess exposures, determine risks, and design policies.

In this program, you’ll get to explore both environmental and occupational health issues and how to correct them. By finishing these courses, graduates can improve conditions in both the environment and the workplace.

  • Public Health Leadership
  • Community Assessments
  • Environmental Justice 
  • Environmental and Occupational Toxicology & Diseases

16. University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Aside from a bachelor’s degree, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater offers an online BS in Occupational Safety in Environmental Safety and Health. These programs enable graduates to take the necessary steps to protect the environment and its different life forms.

Keeping the natural environment safe requires extensive problem-solving skills that allow you to determine what is causing the problem and then find a solution that will benefit everyone involved. More than theoretical classes, your semester-long internship will prepare you to manage real-life scenarios.

The online format makes it easier for you to remain motivated, especially when you don’t have to worry about missing work to go to school. Faculty members have a strong reputation for providing learning tools that can help you grasp and retain the information you learn through these courses:

  • Principles of Occupational Epidemiology
  • Occupational Safety Management
  • Disaster Planning and Response
  • Prevention and Control of Airborne Hazards in the Workplace

17. Murray State University

Murray State University

Murray State University is one of many universities that have started offering online courses to their students who want to complete their degree yet have to work full-time jobs. Its MS in Occupational Safety and Health program gives you what you need to succeed in creating a safe work environment.

Students pursuing this degree will get trained in maintaining a safe work environment. Here, you’ll develop the skills necessary to identify and solve potential problems arising from faulty equipment or poor workmanship. 

The school offers financial aid options and encourages faculty members to work with each student individually to make sure they have everything they need for a memorable and enriching learning experience. From government agencies to private companies, the program’s comprehensive catalog consists courses that will prepare you to work in different sectors:

  • Facility Water Quality and Management
  • Toxicology of Industrial Materials
  • Systems Approach to Hazard Control
  • Disaster Management, Emergency Preparedness and Planning

18. East Carolina University

East Carolina University

At East Carolina University, each online degree program is developed to provide the most advanced skills and up-to-date technology available. Its MS in Occupational Safety program is for students who aim to climb the career ladder as safety managers or inspectors in a variety of industries.

Being able to take classes online lets you look for work before you graduate and balance other commitments in life. You can rely on the school’s valuable resources and esteemed faculty for support and guidance during your time at East Carolina University.

The program teaches occupational safety to make sure workplaces are safe and have no hazards that could lead to an accident or injure a worker. From theoretical and fieldwork to research classes, you’ll learn about and keep up with industry updates through these courses:

  • Risk Management and Workers’ Compensation
  • Biostatistics for Health Professionals
  • Technical Aspects and Field Audits in Occupational Safety
  • Occupational Ergonomics

19. Tulane University

Tulane University

Tulane University is one of the most revered colleges in the country when it comes to quality degree programs. Its Master of Health Administration offers two tracks: Occupational and Environmental Health and Occupational Health and Safety Management

Only the most experienced faculty members are recruited to teach students at Tulane. In addition to its stellar classroom offerings, the university offers quality education in an online format, making it easier for anyone to return to school and complete their education. 

Industrial hygiene and occupational health and safety management require skills in solving safety issues as they arise. This field also requires professionals to create safety guidelines and protocols that will keep workers safe in the future. You’ll leave the school with the knowledge of how to develop solutions and implement protocols through these courses:

  • EHS Training
  • Radiological Health
  • Air Sampling and Analysis
  • Physical Agents and Ergonomic Hazards in the Workplace

20. Montana Tech of the University of Montana

Montana Tech of the University of Montana

Montana Tech of the University of Montana has developed online safety degree programs that are as complete and informative as any classroom offering. Its bachelor’s degree provides foundational training and knowledge. Meanwhile, the MS in Industrial Hygiene – Distance Learning/Professional Track will hone your skills and add to your knowledge as an industrial hygiene manager.

The online format makes it possible for you to earn a master’s degree without ever entering a classroom. You can complete your work when it is most convenient for you, enabling you to continue working while you learn.

Faculty members are ready to assist with your project training – for which the school offers financial aid options. To be a successful and responsible occupational safety professional, you’ll study areas such as:

  • Law and Ethics for OSH
  • Ergonomics
  • Construction Safety
  • Safety Engineering and Technology

21. Oakland University

Oakland University

Oakland University offers both online courses and traditional classroom degree programs so students can choose which type of learning environment is best for them. A great example is the MS in Safety Management‘s online format. It offers students who have trouble in classrooms a unique opportunity to learn from where they are most comfortable.

Besides the resources the school offers, you can also rely on faculty members for help and guidance. You’ll receive sound career advice as you move forward with your fieldwork and research.

Safety managers require skills that enable them to be quick on their feet and capable of handling any unforeseen situation. They must also be proficient in developing and enforcing safety guidelines in the workplace. Through these courses, the school’s degree provides the required skills to help you reach these career goals and objectives:

  • Environmental Safety at Work
  • Risk Management and Loss Control
  • Legal Aspects of Business
  • Safety Program Planning

22. Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester Institute of Technology

The Rochester Institute of Technology provides the highest possible level of academic excellence in the state. Its MS in Environmental, Health and Safety Management focuses on training professionals to help companies meet safety and sustainability standards through internships and a STEM-focused curriculum.

When working with environmental, health, and safety management protocols, the goal is to provide a work environment that is safe for the workers. Earning this degree instills in you the necessary skills needed to establish and enforce workforce safety protocols.

Students and faculty work together to ensure the courses are continually providing everything students need to become successful managers in the occupational safety field. These are some of the courses you will be studying:

  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Management System Design
  • EHS Internal Auditing
  • Integrating EHS Management

23. Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky University gives students the best possible online course curriculums as well as some of the most experienced and well-respected faculty members. Its MS in Safety, Security & Emergency Management allows you to keep or start working and continue your education.

Each member of the faculty has years of experience and is fully committed to providing each student with the level of education they need and deserve. After graduation, you can enter the workforce with the skills and knowledge required for working in the occupational safety industry. 

The program will teach you the importance of maintaining a safe work environment and how to establish new protocols that can be used to keep employees safe in the workplace. The following courses will prepare you for careers in scholarly research, advanced professional training, and managerial roles:

  • Emergency Management and Disaster Resilience
  • Construction Safety
  • Healthcare Safety
  • Supply Chain Safety and Security

24. University of Central Missouri

University of Central Missouri

The University of Central Missouri is known throughout the area for its academic excellence and online programs. Its MS in Occupational Safety Management allows you to keep working while you’re enrolled in the program. 

Well-respected faculty members are committed to seeing each of their students succeed. By providing you with the one-on-one attention you need, faculty members can resolve problems and make sure you get back on track much sooner than later.

Here you’ll learn problem-solving skills, quick thinking, and develop the leadership qualities needed to follow and implement safety protocols. The school offers several financial aid options, including scholarships from foundations, to complete your degree. Once enrolled, you’ll take courses such as:

  • Principles of Accident Causation and Prevention
  • Safety Leadership
  • Applied Sciences for Professional Studies
  • Industrial Hazard Control

25. University of Findlay

University of Findlay

The University of Findlay’s MS in Environmental, Safety & Health Management is for students ready to move forward with their career goals.

Students often choose this school due to the small number of students in each class. The faculty commits to providing each student with the resources they need to be a successful manager in the occupational health and safety field. 

The program equips you with environmental, safety, and health management skills. These courses will teach you to assess a workplace environment, identify potential hazards, and establish effective safety guidelines for reducing the risk of an accident or injury:

  • Environmental Epidemiology
  • ESH Quality Systems and Auditing
  • OSHA Law and Regulations
  • Training and Development in Organization
A woman studying in front of her laptop

Can You Get Occupational Health and Safety Degrees Online?

You can get occupational health and safety degrees online. Many accredited universities offer online bachelor’s degree and master’s program options in occupational safety and health. These advanced online degree options provide flexibility for working professionals to gain the necessary training for careers promoting workplace safety protocols and standards. 

To be eligible for admission into an online bachelor’s or master’s degree in occupational safety, prospective students typically need to meet certain standard requirements set by the universities. While specific criteria may vary, common application components include:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Minimum GPA requirement, usually between 2.0 and 2.5 for undergraduate programs
  • Submission of college entrance exam scores (ACT or SAT) for bachelor’s programs
  • Personal essay or statement of purpose
  • Official transcripts from prior institutions
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Relevant work experience (for some master’s programs)
  • Application fee payment

What Are Online Occupational Health and Safety Degrees?

Occupational safety and health degrees equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to identify and mitigate workplace hazards. This promotes employee well-being across various fields, including industrial, agriculture, construction, and healthcare. By enrolling in these programs, students learn about:

  • Potentially dangerous exposures and how to reduce risks by developing workplace policies and procedures.
  • Environmental issues, construction safety, ergonomics, accident investigation, and hazardous materials management.
  • Laws, regulations, and historical context about workplace safety.

To prepare for the critical role of implementing workplace safety according to federal standards, students should consider the following:

  • Accredited programs that have undergone third-party evaluation to guarantee quality education.
  • Opportunities for semester-long internships to gain practical experience.
  • Tuition costs and availability of financial aid for online bachelor’s degrees in occupational safety.

Common Courses in an Online Safety Degree Program

Occupational safety degrees provide comprehensive training on identifying, handling, and preventing hazardous materials and dangerous incidents in the workplace from legal, ethical, and managerial perspectives.

Online students gain skills in developing safety policies, monitoring workplace conditions, and effectively communicating procedures to employees. Key areas of study include:

  • Toxicology: Examining chemical and biological hazards like metals, solvents, dust, gasses, and protective measures to prevent employee exposure.
  • Environmental issues: Understanding industrial impacts on soil, air, and water contamination, climate change implications, and government regulations around environmental safety laws.
  • Occupational biomechanics and ergonomics: Studying principles of ergonomics, physiological risks, and improving physical work environments through safety standards, workstations, and tools.
  • Legal aspects of safety: Exploring government agency requirements (OSHA), employee compensation, liability issues, ethics, and common professional problems related to hazardous materials and safety training in the workplace.
Two men discussing on the site

Is an Online Degree in Occupational Health and Safety Worth It?

An online degree in occupational health and safety is worth it, especially because it gives students the flexibility to learn from anywhere and continue working. These degrees prepare students to identify and mitigate workplace hazards, making them invaluable assets to organizations focused on employee well-being and regulatory compliance. 

Here are some other reasons why you should consider getting an online bachelor’s or master’s degree in occupational safety:

Study Anywhere

As long as you have a reliable internet connection, you can study from anywhere you want. You can work toward your diploma at home, at the local coffee shop, or even at a tropical beach.  

More Program Options

Completing a master’s or bachelor’s degree online means students aren’t limited to schools within their locale. You can take advantage of schools that offer different specializations, completion periods, internships, and work opportunities – even if they’re halfway across the world.

Opportunities to Connect

Even though an online program doesn’t require you to meet in-person, students can still connect with teachers and classmates. You can also enjoy virtual networking opportunities, discussion boards, forums, and social media, and find your own sense of community.  

Drawbacks of the Occupational Safety Profession

Occupational safety professionals play a vital role in handling hazardous materials properly and maintaining workplace safety. However, after completing your degree, getting the job comes with its own set of challenges.

  • A report from Johns Hopkins University highlighted issues like harassment, burnout, and low job satisfaction faced by public health professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 7.5% increase in non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2022, indicating that occupational safety graduates may face some pretty challenging days at work.
  • Employers may require additional professional certifications beyond a master’s or a bachelor’s degree to tackle complex safety problems effectively in environments such as construction sites.
Two site engineers walking

Do I Need a Degree to Work in Health and Safety?

Most jobs in the health, safety, and risk management field require at least a bachelor’s degree to secure a job. However, this may still depend on the role’s requirements. In some states, you may also need licenses or certifications.

Best Jobs for Occupational Health and Safety Degrees

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that job growth in occupational health and safety is projected at 13% from 2022 to 2032. This is much faster than the average growth rate among various industries and sectors. With this expected growth, you can thrive in this industry as you explore these career options.

  • Ergonomist: In an office setting, an ergonomist might suggest providing employees with standing desks or chairs that come with plenty of back support. At a manufacturing site, they may map out major changes to the layout of equipment to improve efficiency and prevent injuries.
  • Environmental protection officer: Job duties for environmental protection officers may include assisting with government clean-up programs, advancing local conservation projects, and enforcing construction codes to protect ecosystems and residents.
  • Industrial hygienist: Industrial hygienists inspect workplaces to identify potential hazards. They collaborate with business owners to help them avoid violations in the first place.
  • OSHA inspector: Most occupational safety specialists who work in the public sector are employed by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA inspectors check workplaces for violations of these laws and impose fines.
  • Compliance manager: Compliance managers make sure their organization implements safety standards set by government agencies. They also conduct inspections, record issues, update documentation, and report safety issues to the management.
  • Construction inspector: An on-site construction inspector monitors projects for workplace standards and compliance violations. The job involves testing equipment, discovering violations, and issuing citations to address issues. 

How Much Can I Make with a Degree in Occupational Health and Safety?

According to the BLS, occupational safety specialists can earn an annual median wage of up to $77,580. For professionals with advanced degrees, the median pay can be as high as $114,674-$125,828.

The median or average salary for a certified safety professional can vary considerably based on educational level, location, and experience. Some job candidates, such as certified safety and risk management professionals, may have additional degrees or certifications that put them in line for a bigger paycheck.

Methodology: Ranking the Best Online Occupational Health and Safety Degrees

The editors at Value Colleges know that students want to feel confident about their online degrees and their ROI. That’s why VC focuses only on accredited, legitimate colleges and universities, ranking programs according to their tuition rate, reputation, and potential salary. Data for the ranking comes from Niche and IPEDS. 

A worker wearing gloves and holding helmet and safety glasses

Related Questions

What Is the Best Degree to Apply for the Graduate Safety Practitioner Designation?

To apply for the Graduate Safety Practitioner designation with the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, a master’s degree in occupational safety, environmental safety, or a closely related field that includes comprehensive safety training is typically required. This advanced degree demonstrates a thorough understanding of safety principles.

Which Degree Is Best for a Safety Officer?

If you’re interested in becoming a safety officer, a bachelor’s or master’s degree in occupational safety is highly recommended, as these cover vital courses such as management principles, hazard recognition, and fire protection. This educational background equips safety officers with the necessary skills to enforce safety regulations.

What Is the Best Degree for Health and Safety Jobs?

A degree in occupational safety and health, environmental health and safety, or a related field such as emergency management is considered the best choice for those pursuing jobs in this field. These programs provide in-depth training on identifying and mitigating workplace hazards and implementing safety standards to guarantee workplace safety.

Which Diploma Is Best for Health and Safety?

A diploma in occupational safety and health or environmental safety is highly recommended. These programs also let students focus on specific areas, including occupational hazard and accident investigation.

An adult student studying on his library


Getting a degree in occupational health and safety online will provide you with valuable resources and a solid academic foundation for a career in this industry. If you plan to enroll in any of the aforementioned top online safety degree programs, you can rest assured that you’ll enter the workforce armed with the latest industry knowledge and best safety practices.

Related Rankings:

Top 25 Best Value Online Occupational Safety and Health Certificates

Top 25 Best Value Online Occupational Safety and Health Bachelor’s

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Aya Andrews


Aya Andrews is a passionate educator and mother of two, with a diverse background that has shaped her approach to teaching and learning. Born in Metro Manila, she now calls San Diego home and is proud to be a Filipino-American. Aya earned her Masters degree in Education from San Diego State University, where she focused on developing innovative teaching methods to engage and inspire students.

Prior to her work in education, Aya spent several years as a continuing education consultant for KPMG, where she honed her skills in project management and client relations. She brings this same level of professionalism and expertise to her work as an educator, where she is committed to helping each of her students achieve their full potential.

In addition to her work as an educator, Aya is a devoted mother who is passionate about creating a nurturing and supportive home environment for her children. She is an active member of her community, volunteering her time and resources to support local schools and organizations. Aya is also an avid traveler, and loves to explore new cultures and cuisines with her family.

With a deep commitment to education and a passion for helping others succeed, Aya is a true inspiration to those around her. Her dedication to her craft, her community, and her family is a testament to her unwavering commitment to excellence in all aspects of her life.

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